Amber McCobb and her clairvoyant family are social workers and travel agents for the recently deceased, guiding them to acceptance and the portal to the afterlife. When Amber’s mom inherits the agency and begins shaking down the dead for ill-gotten gains, Amber drags her reluctant sister and the extended family into a coup for control of the soul of McCobb Mortality Services.
When Covid lockdowns put an abrupt halt to live theatre, the stage community accelerated conversations about accessibility and equity in development, production, and distribution in our industry. We created this podcast process as a way to connect new works directly with audiences and reward every artist involved with a share of the long-term profits. As live theatre’s ongoing recovery attests, our existing systems offer limited capacity and velocity for change. We believe that the path toward reaching musical theater’s full financial and ethical potential requires investing in alternative systems and integrating successful experiments into existing models.
Our team of artists worked together remotely, with a mixture of rehearsing/performing on Zoom and recording asynchronously, each actor and musician doubling as recording engineer. The majority of the scenes were recorded in the first summer of the pandemic, with pickups and music added in over the course of the next year. Along the way, we compiled the audio, edited the scenes/music, added in sound effects, orchestrations, and underscoring, and then put it all through several rounds of mixing. This would not have been possible without pandemic unemployment assistance and grants for artists, without mainstream access to incredible technology, and without the generosity of 30+ artists collectively contributing thousands of hours. We hope the success of this project will lead to many more artists receiving investment, mentorship, and direct connection to their audiences in the traditionally very expensive, real-estate-constricted medium of musicals.
We hope you enjoy McCobb Mortality Services and look forward to hearing from you.
—McCobb Radio Team